"In an unsuccessful effort to stop vandalism, Paris began an advertising campaign this summer. Posters showed a cartoon Vélib’ being roughed up by a thug. The caption read: “It’s easy to beat up a Vélib’, it can’t defend itself. Vélib’ belongs to you, protect it!”Damned catchy slogan. We'll be needed one just like it sometime late next year, or thereabouts.
I don't know if the Melbourne hire-bikes will be anything like the expensive models being trashed and stolen over in France, but with an 80% hit rate, perhaps the lesson for Melbourne will be cheap, disposable bicycles.
"this latest French utopia has met a prosaic reality: Many of the specially designed bikes, which cost $3,500 each, are showing up on black markets in Eastern Europe and northern Africa. Many others are being spirited away for urban joy rides, then ditched by roadsides, their wheels bent and tires stripped.
With 80 percent of the initial 20,600 bicycles stolen or damaged, the program’s organizers have had to hire several hundred people just to fix them."
Although not to retrieve them. The stolen bikes remain stolen.
We can look forward to many a creative Herald-Sun headline when the hire-a-bike scheme is introduced mid-2010, when our incivilities toward each other will, following the French example, no doubt become incivilities to innocent bicycles.
I can't wait.
French ideal of bicycle sharing meets reality
Melbourne to get European-style bike hire program